April 27, 2022

Nursing student takes top spot in 2022 UCalgary Three Minute Thesis competition

Julia St. Louis will represent UCalgary at Western Regionals May 6, 2022
Julia St. Louis
2022 UCalgary 3MT winner Julia St. Louis. Julia St. Louis
  • [Trigger warning: this story deals with a topic that may be difficult for some readers.]

You know a Three Minute Thesis (3MT) talk is a good one when you’re still thinking about it several days later. There’s no doubt this year’s UCalgary 3MT champion, Julia St. Louis, will have people thinking about her work for a long time to come.

Opportunity out of difficult circumstances

The Master of Nursing student shared her first-hand experience as a nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of the British Columbia Children’s Hospital, where St. Louis found herself supporting the family of a newborn who was to live for only a few days. With the help of her nursing colleagues, St. Louis felt supported through the difficult experience but realized that there was an opportunity to give nurses better tools to prepare for these situations.

As a UCalgary graduate student, St. Louis is pursuing that opportunity as she explores the experiences of nurses in the NICUs of Canada’s hospitals. She captures both the scope and gravitas of her work in her winning 3MT talk, Learning Experiences of NICU Nurses in End-of-Life Care.

Nursing is heroic work, even when it seems mundane. When St. Louis found herself helping a family through an end-of-life event, she was guided through it by colleagues. “It’s a situation that happens every day,” says St. Louis. “Nurses know how to care for each other and lean on each other. The idea behind this research is to understand that process of support to make it more systematic.”

A Calgary native, St. Louis hopes to follow her master’s degree with a PhD at UCalgary, expanding the scope of her research topic.

UCalgary 3MT

The 3MT competition is an annual research communications competition in which graduate students are challenged to condense their research into a three-minute talk for a general audience, while using a single, static slide. The competition is organized each year by the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

The 3MT experience is a great way for graduate students to hone their oral communication skills. “We are so proud of both the extraordinary research that our students are conducting, and of the remarkable communication skills that they develop at UCalgary,” says Dr. Robin Yates, dean and vice-provost, graduate studies.

Making advanced research clear to a broad audience is something that many academics struggle with, and our students are developing crucial skills that will help them along their career paths.

For the third consecutive year, the UCalgary 3MT has taken place entirely online as a pandemic precaution. Competitors recorded videos of themselves delivering their talks without edits, scripts, or props. All 2022 finalist videos are available to watch.

Western regionals

St. Louis will represent UCalgary at the Western Canadian 3MT regionals on May 6, hosted by the University of Winnipeg. Anyone can watch the event online, and the public are welcome to vote in the People’s Choice category.

This year’s UCalgary 3MT finalists included:

  • First Place: Julia St. Louis, master's student in nursing, Learning Experiences of NICU Nurses in End-of-Life Care
  • Second Place: Farwa Naqvi, master's student in medicine - community health sciences, What Matters Most to Immigrant Youth Regarding Mental Health in Alberta
  • Third Place and People’s Choice: Katherine Silang, master's student in clinical psychology, Sleep and Postpartum Depression: You're Not You When You're Sleepy
  • Daniyya Chaudhry, master's student in medical sciences, Duration of Increased Clotting Ability Following Joint Replacement Surgery
  • Tanya Cherppukaran, master's student in medical sciences, Identifying Perpetrators of Intimate Partner Violence
  • Anita Michalak, master's student in veterinary medical sciences, The Sorting Hat Ceremony of Caribou in Western Canada
  • Sandy Rao, PhD student in social work, The Access Paradox
  • Roshanne Sihota, master's student in geography, Gene Editing Solutions for Vector-Borne Disease: Debates in a Canadian Context